"Tables" Shaping Up


Today began the second week of the Apprenticeship: Tables video shoot. It’s taking us longer than the Foundations video because I am doing more than showing techniques – I’m actually building a full piece.


The table I’m building is loosely based on one I fell in love with at Old Sturbridge Village. It has the back legs angled beneath the table’s single drop leaf. It also has ‘H’ stretchers between the legs. On the original, the drawer is at the end rail but I decided to put mine at the front. It is a wonderfully quirky table that incorporates so many of the features of period table construction. It’s perfect for this video.


The first five days of the shoot, I got the stock prepped, legs tapered, joinery cut, and stretchers installed. Documenting while building is a painstaking process because it more than doubles the build time. For each operation, there are anywhere between 2-5 angles we try to capture. Every moment Mike is moving the tripod and refocusing the camera, I stand still waiting to continue working. You can imagine how this disrupts the workflow. We have gotten into a groove, though, and things are moving along at a steady pace.


Over the next few days, I will be completing the drawer, adding breadboards to the top and leaf, and painting it. The end of the week we will be gathering miscellaneous shots including an interview to open and close the video (as in Foundations). This week will be another full one for sure. Mike will be taking the next three weeks or so for editing while I finish up a few conservation projects in the studio.


Throughout the filming process, so many teaching points have emerged that I didn’t have time to cover in the first video. While there are certain tasks that overlap, the two videos definitely cover a lot of different territory. Foundations is good for general techniques but that can only take you so far. It’s so important to see this work done in the context of a build. I’m delighted with how this video is shaping up and can’t wait to get it into your hands. We expect to have it available this July.


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